British offshore sailor Phil Sharp is putting together a campaign to enter the IMOCA Ocean Masters building up to the championship highlight, the Vendée Globe.
Phil Sharp is one of Britain’s most successful offshore sailors. He claimed victory in the 2006 edition of the notorious Route du Rhum solo transat race, and at his first attempt, finished the Solitaire du Figaro in 2011 as the highest Brit in the history of the race.
Phil comes from a sailing family and has sailed on yachts from a very young age. He first started racing at university where he captained the Imperial College Sailing Team for his final two years, skippering the team to victory in Cowes Week 2003. Shortly after graduating from university with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Phil started racing in the Mini class, and in September 2005, Phil competed in the Mini Transat, a single-handed race from France to Brazil in 21ft boats, considered to be one of the toughest offshore races. After 3 weeks and 4,500 miles, he finished in 4th place overall, the second best British result in the 30-year history of the race.
For 2006, Phil chartered a Class 40 boat for October’s Route du Rhum, a solo transat from St Malo to Guadeloupe. After intense downwind conditions, Phil hooked up the lead of the 25-strong fleet after the first week, seeking out a low pressure system to the North. Despite losing a valuable sail in a storm, Phil fended off his rivals to cross the finish line victorious in 18 days, 10 hours and 21 minutes, and a whole day ahead of second placed Gildas Morvan.
The Big Picture
Phil’s goal is clear: to be the first Briton to win the famous Vendée Globe. This race is the pinnacle of the sailing world: non-stop, around the world, single-handed, without assistance.
"More people have been to space and scaled Everest than have raced single-handed around the world, which highlights the sheer challenge and scale of this demanding event. It is the ultimate competitive challenge in the world today; a test of outright endurance, commitment and perseverance over three months, driven intensely by the desire to win."
"I believe that with the appropriate backing and a competitive boat I can be the first person to break the French dominance of this event. That would be a great way to continue to grow the IMOCA Ocean Masters circuit internationally and bring this incredible sport to the public's attention all around the globe."
Date of Birth
11 May 1981
Place of Birth
Jersey, Channel Islands
Imperial College London
MEng (Hnrs) in Mechanical Engineering
Windsurfing, Triathlon and of course Sailing!
Offshore Class Experience
Class 40, Mini 650, Figaro, Volvo 60/70
Inshore Class Experience
49er, F18, Extreme 40
Winning the 2006 Route du Rhum
• Seahorse International Sailor of the Month – Sept 2011
• Seahorse International Sailor of the Month – Jan 2007
• CI Sports Personality of the Year 2006
• BBC Jersey Sports Personality of the Year 2006
• RCC Seamanship Medal 2006
1st - 2014 Chicago - Mackinac Great Lake Race (double-handed), Seascape 27